Almost half of all frequent-flyer programme (FFP) members do not fully understand how to redeem awards from their loyalty scheme, a recent study by marketing research company JD Power suggests.

According to the 2017 Airline Loyalty Program Satisfaction Survey, just 52 per cent of programme members said they fully understand their respective programme’s redemption process.

Members’ confusion is not difficult to understand – airlines’ programmes are regularly changing how their programmes operate, often in quite nuanced ways. In November alone, both Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue and British Airways’ Avios programmes announced they would be moving towards dynamic pricing, a system wherein miles redemption costs are based on specific demand rather than at a general rate.

When it comes to what travellers are looking for their programmes to provide, among the favourite benefits were lowest price guarantees and the waiving of same-day change fees, according to the survey. Earning rewards in restaurants, retail and car rentals also notably increased members’ satisfaction with their FFP.

“As loyalty programmes have exploded in popularity over the past several years, airline loyalty programme managers understand the critical role that ancillary benefits that fall outside the airline industry can play and they devote careful attention to partners included in their programmes,” said Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at JD Power.

“Flexibility in how miles are redeemed is valued by members. After all, if you win a pie-eating contest, you may want to be rewarded with something besides another pie.”

JD Power’s 2017 Airline Loyalty Program Satisfaction Survey was based on the responses of 3,387 rewards programme members in September.

How satisfied are you with your frequent-flyer programme? How well do you feel you understand its redemption process? Let us know in the comments section below.